Under Wisconsin Supreme Court rules, records of small claims cases — which include evictions — are kept for 20 years.
Dismissed small claims cases, however, are removed from the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website after two years.
Legal Action of Wisconsin, a nonprofit law firm representing low-income renters, asked the Supreme Court in March to shorten the time frame for retaining most evictions to one year. It also requested courts apply the 20-year retention standard only to evictions that required a renter to pay money back to a landlord. The law firm notes there are “prolonged and pervasive racial disparities in the rental housing market in Wisconsin.”
The director of state courts rejected a similar petition because it would be too burdensome to implement, the Cap Times reported.
The Wisconsin Apartment Association supports reducing the period to “a few years,” according to FOX6 News.
Wisconsin Courts: Retention and Maintenance of Court Records
Wisconsin Courts: Wisconsin Circuit Court Access
State of Wisconsin: Relating to retention of records in eviction cases
Wisconsin Courts: Pending petitions
FOX6 News Milwaukee | Wisconsin & Local Milwaukee News WITI: Wisconsin tenant eviction records: How long should they be retained?